Money Matters: Common Managed Health Care Plans
Health care and prescription coverage can represent a big financial burden. In the midst of financial hardship, it’s typically the first portion of a family budget to get slashed. If serious illness occurs, that could drive anyone to financial catastrophe. Last week, we shared with you how to choose the best healtcare plan through our friends at www.practicalmoneyskills.com. This week, we take a look specifically at Managed Health Care Plans.
Managed Care Health Plans
Here is a brief explanation of some of the most common Managed Care health plans:
- HMOS (Health Maintenance Organizations) are a type of health insurance plan where coverage is limited to doctors who work for or contract with the HMO. A primary care physician generally oversees your care and must refer you to specialists as needed.
- PPOs (Preferred Provider Networks) allow subscribers to use doctors, hospitals and providers outside of the network for a fee.
- High-Deductible Health Care Plans are high-deductible plans with low monthly premiums, designed to offer minimal day-to-day coverage but to protect you in the event of a catastrophe.
- Point of Service Plans combine some aspects of PPOs and HMOs. Like PPOs, they generally require users to choose a primary care physician, who can make referrals to other doctors inside or outside of the network.
- Fee-for-Service Plans reimburse you for a large percentage of what you pay out of pocket. You pay the bill for services; then your insurance company pays you back.
After choosing your plan and services, make sure to use them wisely. Most health insurers supply educational materials on preventive care such as quitting smoking, weight loss and chronic disease management. Many even provide financial incentives for completing treatment programs, getting immunizations and using generic drugs.
For information about managing health care in retirement, click here.
For more on the importance of health care for self-employed workers, click here.